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Newsbits 2-11-16: Jump to These for Infotainment

(2/11/2016)

newsbits stories about wonky snowmobilers

They say art imitates life. Please, don't imitate some of this week's featured stories.

Avalanche videos are becoming almost regular nowadays thanks to the proliferation of GoPro cameras. THIS AVALANCHE VIDEO has a happy ending, but it's still a good warning to all mountain riders.

Snowing snowballs?!? While THIS STORY would be 100X better with a picture, it's interesting to know that nature can produce snowballs.

Please, don't ever be THIS GUY, who trespasses with his 12-year-old son on snowmobiles, then flees to leave his son to handle the police.

On the flipside, here's a great story about Team Arctic's Hubert Fixsen, who will be inducted into the Snowmobile Hall of Fame this weekend.

Click for more...

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TGIF: The Feb. 5, 2016 Edition

(2/5/2016)

ArcticInsider wears a one-piece snowmobile suit. Onlookers barf in response.

I'm thankful for that special feeling of going commando while wearing a one-piece snowmobile suit.

I'm thankful for the endless cycles of fashion, and that what once was cool shall be so again.

I'm thankful for furry feet and snow bunnies.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, Jan. 5, 2016.

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Lunch Loop: Snowmobiling in 60 minutes or less

(1/31/2016)

Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by ArcticInsider.com

Once a week or so in the winter, I swap the usual weekday lunch break with an hour of snowmobiling.

I call it my "Lunch Loop."

And dang, is it ever deliciously good!

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Newsbits 1-29-16: Jump to These for Infotainment

(1/29/2016)

Yesterday Tucker Hibbert won his 9th consecutive X Games Gold Medal (and perhaps his 1,234,456th Pro Final). Here's a link to watch the entire 20-lap final (or you can just watch it above) Congrats Tucker and team!

Man, they grow 'em tough and hardy in the farth north, as evidenced by this 71-year-old priest who survived a night at -43 C after his snowmobile ran out of gas.

Pretty brazen ride of this guy to ride an unfrozen canal near Cadillac, Mich. Interestingly, he was trying to do so anonymously, but then posts his video to YouTube.

This is a cool story and video showing the recovery of a sunken snowmobile in Latvia.

Click to see and read more...

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Snow Depth Report for Jan. 27, 2016

(1/27/2016)

Snow Depth report 1-27-16

An old sage once said, "If there's snow, then go!"

Even if it's not perfect conditions.

Click HERE for the NOAA site to get even more specific info about your area.

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Turn-Key Racers: Custom Arctic Cat Soo 500 Enduro Sleds are Ready for Prime Time

(1/20/2016)

Custom Arctic Cat Soo 500 turn-key race sleds for 2016.

The custom 2016 Arctic Cat Soo 500/Enduro Sled project is complete, with five remaining machines now available to racers who want the ultimate turn-key ice sled for this and future seasons.

One of these machines has been tested for 500 miles on an oval, and raced 100 miles to prove the set-up (where it won). All have been updated with the latest EFI programming.

Pretty much just gas-and-go!

Click for more info.

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TGIF: The Jan. 15, 2016 Edition

(1/15/2016)

Sno-Pony and Sonic Challenger snowmobiles.

I'm thankful for the wild, chest-pounding days of yesteryear, when snowmobile manufactures built over-the-top speed machines to promote cute little consumer sleds that were barely fasters than today's 120s.

I'm thankful that long before there were "SledNecks" decals on every 18-year-old's truck, sled and bedroom mirror, there were "STP" decals on every truck, sled and bedroom mirror.

Seriously, I'm thankful when ANYONE builds a sled that looks like a rocketship.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, Jan. 15, 2016.

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Looks Like Winter. Hoping the Same for You.

(1/5/2016)

Arctic Cat Crosstrek graced by snow and frost.

There's an old saying that I often hear describing snowmobilers:

"We need snow in our back yard to believe that it's truly winter out there."

In the last week I been from the southeast corner of Minnesota all the way to the Northwest, and I can tell you the ground is white everywhere in between. And lots of snowmobilers are out enjoying it.

If that's not the case where you live, then I sincerely hope that it soon will be.

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Goodbye-to-2015 Ride in Minnesota’s Bluff Country

(12/31/2015)

December snow storm ride in Minn. Bluff Country. Pix by Pat Bourgeois & ArcticInsider.com

A good ol' snowstorm dumped 9 inches of snow on southern Minnesota this last week of 2015.

A handful of us celebrated the occasion with a great ride through part the state's famed Bluff Country.

Click for a few pix.

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Such Great Gifts (Merry Christmas)

(12/24/2015)

Beautiful snowmobile photo by Richard Wulk.

Some gifts last a lifetime.

Here's the story of such gifts.

Merry Christmas everyone. Peace to you and your loved ones.

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First Ride of the Season (aka: If There's Snow, Then Go)

(12/21/2015)

First snowmobile ride of the 2015-2016 season. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Winter arrived in parts of Minnesota last week, delivering enough snow to make tracks in the northern part of the state.

Which is exactly what I did last Friday with my friends Tom Rowland and Paul Hein. Which in turn erased all frustration and gloom that h continue reading ...


The (Amazing) Ische Collection: Q&A with Tom Ische, Arctic Cat Collector

(12/17/2015)

The Ische Collection of vintage Arctic Cat. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

In the world of Arctic Cat collecting, Tom Ische and his wife Nancy and daughter Brianna have amassed a mind-boggling array of racing and performance snowmobiles from the Arctic Enterprises era.

If Arctic Cat built a performance or racing sled between 1968 to 1981, the Isches have it. King Cats, EXTs, Puma mods, Sno Pros...they’re all here at their shop in Glencoe, Minn., most in either original unrestored or perfectly-restored condition.

I caught up with the 49-year old Cat fanatic recently at his shop, where we stared at beautiful machines and discussed how this collection came to be.

Click to see amazing passion, the most iconic musclesleds in Arctic Cat history and the story of Tom's fascination with this stuff.

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Waiting on Winter: Pretty Pictures

(12/9/2015)

Arctic Cat snowmobiles ad daybreak, freshly coated. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

While I'm waiting for Ma Nature to get with the program and deliver us winter, I find myself looking at pictures that capture the magic of snowmobile season.

Here are a few that work magic for me. Hope they do the same for you.

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TGIF: The Dec. 4, 2015 "Screamin' Scott" Edition

(12/4/2015)

Arctic Cat's Screamin' Scott Eilertson jumps for the crowd in Union Grove, WI, 1975

I'm thankful for the wild and crazy riders who emerge from every generation and do more than just push the boundaries: they completely and literally launch over and/or blow right through them.

I'm thankful for the human spirit that yearns to fly higher, farther and faster.

I'm thankful for Screamin' Scott Eilertson, Arctic Cat District Sales Manager, former racer and jumping record holder, who thrilled the 40,000 spectators at Great Lakes Raceway in Union Grove, Wis., on Labor Day weekend 1975 by launching his 1973 EXT 98 feet (and collapsing the running boards and spraining both ankles in the process).

I'm thankful the power cable didn’t clothesline him.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 (and that Scott is STILL a wild/crazy Arctic Cat guy)!

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Q&A with Brad Darling: VP-GM of Arctic Cat Snowmobiles & PG&A

(12/3/2015)

Brad Darling, Arctic Cat VP-GM of Snowmobiles. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

As the Vice President-General Manager of Arctic Cat Snowmobiles and PG&A, Brad Darling exerts enormous influence on the machines and gear we ride today, and will ride in the coming years. 

Click to read what the lifelong Arctic Cat man has to say about the company, its machines, the relationship with Yamaha and more.

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TGIF: The Snocross Kick-Off Edition on Nov. 27, 2015

(11/27/2015)

Jetstar Snocross Cross-Country snowmobile racer

I'm thankful that the 2015-2016 Snocross season kicks-off this weekend in Duluth, Minn.

I'm thankful that racers will come from all over the world to take a green flag and, hopefully, a checkered flag too.

I'm thankful their bearded ancestors, who raced long ago on iron dogs, were able to stand up and forge a path that would eventually lead to the rock stars and high flyers we enjoy today.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.

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You're all Turkeys (and I'm thankful for that)!

(11/26/2015)

ArcticInsider decal.

If you come to this site, then you're definitely a turkey.

And I sincerely thank you for that.

Grace and gratitude to you and yours on this fine Thanksgiving Day.

-John

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Winter Blows into Thief River Falls and Arctic Cat

(11/20/2015)

Snow on Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls, Nov. 19, 2015. Photo by Mandi Hibbert.

Snow on Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls, Nov. 19, 2015. Photo by Mandi Hibbert.

Winter announced itself at Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls, yesterday, blowing in with forceful winds that brought plunging temperatures and the greatest of all dessert toppings: SNOW!

The scene in TRF complements the images and reports of accumulating snow in the Rockies and Alaska that have dumped into my inbox and social media news feeds the past weeks to trigger excitement (and envy) in the Sandberg Command Center.

Seeing Arctic Cat covered in snow is ALMOST as good as it gets (the best snow is the stuff that dumps on my house and where I live).

Winter is coming to the rest of us. I can feel it.

(Special thanks to Mandi "Photographer to the Stars" Hibbert for taking and sending these shots.)

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Handling Upgrade: Convert your ProCross Skidframe to 2016 Specs

(11/16/2015)

New dual-rate front track shock springs for Arctic Cat snowmobiles.

Sometimes it’s the little things that produce big results.

Arctic Cat suspension engineers proved this old axiom with changes on the rear suspension of 2016 129- and 137-in. trail sleds that delivers improved cornering precision and suppler comfort over trail chop.

The upshot: it’s change(s) anyone can make on their previous model year ProCross sleds.

End the suspense by clicking for the shocking details.

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Happy Birthday C.J. (and thanks again for your amazing writing)!

(11/12/2015)

C.J. Ramstad drawing as it appeared in Snowmobile Magazine circa 1983.

This coming Saturday, Nov. 14, would have been C.J. Ramstad's 70th birthday, had he not died in a tragic automobile crash with his son, J.J., in May 2007.

C.J. was an outstanding writer because of his ability to capture the essence of whatever he was writing about.

This column from the Dec. 1983 issue of Snowmobile Magazine is a prime example, as he describes a snowmobile association gathering AND a snowmobiler's excitement this time of year in rich detail.

I'm leaving now with my son to go deer hunting for the weekend. I'll be thinking about life, good friends, snowmobiling and C.J.

Happy Birthday C.J.

(Click for his column.)

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